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    2017 Reports

    Data Sources: Four out of Five: A Closer Look into Master’s Degrees

    October 2017

    A large majority of graduate students in the United States pursue master’s degrees. According to the most recent CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees (GE&D), more than twice as many applications for admission were submitted to master’s programs than doctoral programs, and four out of five first-time graduate students enrolled in Fall 2016 were enrolled in programs leading to a master’s degree or a graduate certificate. Furthermore, the large majority (83%) of degrees awarded in 2015-16 were master’s degrees, while the share of doctoral degrees was 11% and graduate certificates was 6.2%. The sheer size of the student body and degrees awarded make master’s education a critical part of the graduate education enterprise that affects institutional missions, enrollment models, and financial planning across different sectors of higher education. This article highlights several results from the most recent GE&D survey that pertain specifically to master’s education.


    Data Sources: Admission Yields of Prospective International Graduate Students: A First Look

    July 2017

    With nearly one out of five U.S. master’s and doctoral students being international students, the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), graduate deans, and graduate education community has a high stake in supporting the recruitment and success of international graduate students and scholars pursuing their studies in the United States. Though it has been over five months since the first immigration executive order was signed, much uncertainty still remains as to how the current political climate and immigration policies may be affecting that flow. A short survey conducted by CGS finds that member deans are seeing a decline in admission yields of prospective international graduate students, a sign that the global appeal for U.S. graduate education may be suffering.


    Data Sources: Highlights from the 2017 CGS Pressing Issues Survey

    April 2017

    The CGS Pressing Issues Survey is an important vehicle for the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) to stay apprised of the key priorities for our member deans. The 2017 survey was administered to all 485 graduate deans or equivalent at CGS member institutions based in the U.S. and Canada via email between February 1 and February 17, 2017. The response rate was 42%, with 205 institutions recording their survey responses. The survey asked a range of questions regarding priorities for graduate deans, graduate schools, and their home institutions for the upcoming twelve months, as well as observations of graduate application trends. This article provides insights into three key areas: graduate application trends, advocacy, and diversity.


    Data Sources: A Quick Look into the Latest Survey of Earned Doctorates Data

    January 2017

    It’s that time of year again! The NSF’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has released the latest Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) data tables. SED is the comprehensive source of information about newly-minted research doctorates since 1957, collecting the annual census of this population. The higher education community monitors this survey with keen interest, as the SED data is often used as a key national indicator of doctoral education in the United States. his article offers a quick look at statistics from the latest data release of SED compiled by the CGS research team. Full data tables are available on the NSF website and table numbers referenced in this article correspond to the web tables.


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.